Peter Rollings commenting in response to the latest figures from the CML
Mon 20 Jun 2011
"The CML's latest mortgage figures will be a welcome boost for first-time buyers, who have been hardest hit of all by the ongoing lack of mortgage finance. Yet even after the slight increase last month, lending is a world away from the level it needs to reach to reinvigorate the housing market outside London. No-one is calling for a return to the days of reckless lending, but for activity and buyer confidence to filter from the Capital to other regional markets, lenders must shift their focus to the thousands of first-time buyers frozen out of the market by overly strict lending criteria.
"However even the ongoing dearth of mortgage finance hasn't put the brakes on the housing market in central London. Cash investors and buyers with substantial deposits have been immune to the mortgage market downturn and in prime areas of the Capital, activity and demand have been buoyant. This month, there have more than 14 buyers registering for each property and competition for property has reached levels not seen since in 2007. Nevertheless, for this activity to spread outside of the capital, lenders must up their commitment to help the lower end of the market."